Skip to main content

tv   Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 20, 2012 1:00am-6:00am EST

1:00 am
to add on spending that has occurred from some of those programs on stimulus. stimulus was meant to be temporary. we're trying to make those provisions permanent and that would not be the policy we would pursue. it is important that we are for if other actions failed to occur. these are permanent changes. in the opening letter they say the men met was permanently extending all the tax provisions that are important for small businesses. we think it is important, even though you extended the policies for two years, that is still
1:01 am
temporary and is not really provide the long-term planning we need to have going forward. that is why i think it is important. >> i don't want secretary geithner to go without some comment, because i don't think that is an accurate description of what he said. >> that is what he said. >> you have to look at the whole statement of his, and to use that as an excuse for this bill -- by the way, at 97% of small businesses have in come under $250,000. so to use that once again as the rationale is i think ignorant of the fact.
1:02 am
let me just say a word about the provisions on earned income tax and the child tax credits. you can play around with language, whether it is a tax or spending, but the truth of the matter is that the bill that was filed last night would raise taxes on 25 million working families. >> i just cannot believe that. this is the joint committee on taxation that says the provisions are spent. these are spending provisions, not tax provisions. this is not a tax increase.
1:03 am
i will just then by the joint committee on tax reform. >> i have enjoyed the discussion to between the chairman and ranking member. is it a fact that when you make these tax cuts permanent for people making a million dollars or more, then you are at the same time, 9099000 for example, you are giving that person of $50,000 tax cut. >> about understood correctly what your asking, we are si on in, over 1 million, but in the incomes 1 million or below, yes, the rates i mentioned in my
1:04 am
testimony would be permanently extended. the average is $2,600 per taxpayer. >> it is almost like we were getting ready to give a new definition for what is middle- class. you protect the wealthy one way. >> mr. hastings, i think you deserve a very clear-cut answer. what this does is to make -- >> the implication is -- whether you say i say inaccurate facts, i would prefer you not characterize my comment. just make your comment and don't
1:05 am
characterize what i say. it is a habit that you have. >> it isn't a have it at all. >> i would prefer you not do that. >> look, i said i wanted to give him a clear-cut answer. i really think there needs to be some camera lottery in this institution and also some collaboration in this institution. the fact is that for people in terms of income over $250,000 the provisions that relate to deductions and exclusions, the clear-cut answer is that what is being done is to make permanent those provisions for
1:06 am
income over $250,000. i think that needs to be just said straight out. >> i appreciate that. in the 20 years that i am here, i have tried not to use language that is particularly provocative, but in this instance, my remarks are not directed to the ranking member, from an institutional standpoint, i know sculduggery when i see it. what has gone on here all day long is, whatever was posted last night is still -- is now being revised because members, as is their right and their private, are busy about the business of putting forth their positions and the language is
1:07 am
being changed, and whatever time today or tomorrow that would come back to discuss plan b, it will not be on what mr. camp brought here, it will be something that will allow for -- are returned to what i said, and i meant it when i say, and to prove it, we have wasted a lot of time and we are wasting time here. the ranking member has made it clear that the majority leader of the senate is not going to pass. not this time saying it is fair, would recommend a veto, it says plainly the administration believes that it can work together with the congress to resolve remaining differences and not miss this opportunity to avert the fiscal cliff. if the president were presented with the house amendment, he
1:08 am
would be to -- veto this legislation. the ss pretty much everything about it. that is why i use the term sculduggery because we know doggone well this isn't going anywhere. i am angry with the institution and all of its leadership and every one of its members that we are around here talking about something like the fiscal cliff and ignoring for all intents and purposes, having passed a resolution condemning violence -- that is easy enough, but the massacre at sandy hook elementary school in newtown, connecticut, takes priority with me and makes this so-called fiscal cliff look like a mole hill. we are at odds are around here about money while all around us, unnecessary gods are proliferating in communities across our nation, and mental need -- mental health needs are not being met, in helping our
1:09 am
society to crumble while we are sitting here mumbling around about whether or not we are going to hold hands and jump off a fiscal cliff, as serious as that is, and the consequences would be for a number of things. not only are we talking about america, we are talking about the world when we fail to do things we need to do. but for the moment, the issue of the day has to do with an adequate discussion on talks of the american people about just what we need to do regarding this measure. we cannot do everything, and i know that. we cannot stop evil and violence by educating everything, but in my judgment we can and we must do something. failure to do that is a helluva lot more important to me than whether the president and john boehner jump off a fiscal cliff. >> it did yeoman yields back. mr. bishop.
1:10 am
-- the gentleman yields back. >> let me first say, mr. scott, that the shawl is specific for you. it is designed to match the wheelchair and the walker you will be given in the senate. in my years as speaker of the house -- [laughter] 1 of the things i had to do is try to enforce the rules we had in quorum in debate. i just want you to know that first ball, i don't ascribe to any special powers to see into the heart of other people so i cannot prescribe motives to anybody or how they will react in the future. however, i would like to ask you just to talk about what
1:11 am
actually is in this proposal. one of the problems we are facing is, when the original tax rates were established, our colleagues on the other side of this building insisted on having to -- having some provisions in there and we have dealt on -- dealt with that on several occasions. how does this impact the sunset, or for those rates that are actually provided in your bill? >> these are permanent extensions. these would be permanent rates. they would not sunset after a decade as the 2001 and 2003 bills have. >> hopefully we will never have to reach that. >> we will not have to debate that again. it is typically called an amt
1:12 am
patch. amt was passed around 1972 impact 155 families. if we don't act, there'll be 27 million families impacted by this. >> is that made permanent as well? that means no further people will fall into that package. because it was not indexed for inflation, each year brings more and more people into higher taxes. >> what does this do about the indexing portion? >> it does also index it as well. >> what about the death tax, which to me is the most heinous tax that we have in this country? >> before 2001, the estate tax was at a rate of 55%. the state tax will be partly
1:13 am
extended a 35% with the $5 million exemption. representing an important thing for small businesses and farmers to be able to pass on to their children the business they have built and i think that is very important. it also indexes for inflation. >> i will still never be satisfied until that is 0 and totally eliminated. that is the only fair way to treat people. if we actually do not pass something like this, what would happen? >> it reverts to its 2001 level with an exemption amount of $1 million. that is very important. >> for the people that are going to be impacted by this piece of legislation, it would be a permanent rate that would solve the amt problem as well as
1:14 am
adjusting for inflation. it would solve the death tax problem permanently as well as adjusting for inflation. it is silent on a whole bunch of other issues which means it does not deal with those other issues. >> looking back here on no child left behind, i make the assumption that your bill does not address a common core as well. you are not playing around with any other kind of education. you are dealing only with tax rates. >> that is correct. >> i appreciate your explanation of what is in this particular piece of legislation. >> are you ready? you are recognized. >> speaker boehner proposed plan
1:15 am
be will be debated and voted on thursday. also on the agenda, the defense programs conference report. >> if we turn away from the needs of others, we align ourselves with those forces which are bringing about the suffering. >> you ought to take advantage of it. >> obesity in this country is nothing short of a public health crisis. >> i think i just had little antennas that went up and tell me when somebody had their own agenda. >> i think they served as a window on the past to what was going on with american women.
1:16 am
>> she becomes the chief confidante. she is really the only one in the world he can trust. >> many of the women who were first ladies, a lot of them more writers, journalists, they wrote books. >> they are more interesting as human beings than their husbands, if only because they are not first and foremost limited by political ambition. >> dolly was both socially adept and politically savvy. >> mrs. monroe hated it. >> she warned her husband, you cannot rule without including what women want. >> gearing the statement, you were a little breathless, and there was too much looking down, and i think it was a little too fast. not enough change in pace. >> probably the most tragic of
1:17 am
all our first ladies. >> she later wrote in her memoir that she said i, myself, never made any decisions. i only decided what was important and when to present it to my husband. stop and think about how much power that is. it is a lot of power. >> part of the battle against cancer is to fight the peter that accompanies the disease. >> she transformed the way we look at these bugaboos and made it possible for countless people to survive and to flourish as a result. i don't know how many presidents, realistically, have that kind of impact on the way we live our lives. >> just walking around the white house grounds, i am constantly reminded about all of the people
1:18 am
who have lived there before and particularly all of the women. >> first ladies, a new series on c-span, produced in cooperation with the white house historical association. starting presidents' day, february 18. czolgosz over the next several hours, more about the negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff. in a few moments, president obama who also talked about combating the gun violence. you'll hear briefly from house speaker john boehner, followed by house minority leader nancy pelosi. later the comments of the outgoing chairman of the senate budget committee, kent conrad. >> two committees are holding hearings tomorrow on the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya, that killed four americans. the senate foreign relations committee will hear from william burns and others preconceived
1:19 am
that live on c-span. mr. vernes will go to the other side of capitol hill to testify about the benghazi report. that is live on c-span3 at 1:00 p.m. eastern. >> if you work for him, you would get a mercurial, sometimes generous, sometimes overbearing, boss.imes almost cruel los he did not know how to apologize. which men of his age and class are not going to apologize to gone private secretary or typist. he had a way of sort of turning the tables and his version of an apology would be to say, actually i am a very kind man and you were doing a very good job today. the issue was never settled. he always had to get the last
1:20 am
word in. one night going through what hall, a german bomb fell nearby. he should not have been out at all. his bodyguard pushed him into a doorway and a couple of thompson's men were actually slightly wounded. churchill did not like to be touched. he said thompson, don't do that. thompson said sir, you should not be out here, this is dangerous. >> he said i am only doing this because i know you love to. >> sunday, and extended a 90- minute q&a with paul reid. sunday night at 8:00 on "q&a". >> president obama says there is no reason the deal cannot be reached to avoid automatic tax hikes and spending cuts beginning the first of the year. reporters asked him about the so-called fiscal cliff after his
1:21 am
announcement that vice-president biden will lead a task force on gone violence. this is a little more than a half-hour. >> good morning, everybody. it's now been five days since the heartbreaking tragedy in newtown, connecticut; three days since we gathered as a nation to pray for the victims. and today, a few more of the 20 small children and six educators who were taken from us will be laid to rest. we may never know all the reasons why this tragedy happened. we do know that every day since, more americans have died of gun violence. we know such violence has terrible consequences for our society. and if there is even one thing that we can do to prevent any of these events, we have a deep obligation -- all of us -- to try.
1:22 am
over these past five days, a discussion has reemerged as to what we might do not only to deter mass shootings in the future, but to reduce the epidemic of gun violence that plagues this country every single day. and it's encouraging that people of all different backgrounds and beliefs and political persuasions have been willing to challenge some old assumptions and change longstanding positions. that conversation has to continue. but this time, the words need to lead to action. we know this is a complex issue that stirs deeply held passions and political divides. and as i said on sunday night, there's no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. we're going to need to work on making access to mental health care at least as easy as access to a gun. we're going to need to look more
1:23 am
closely at a culture that all too often glorifies guns and violence. and any actions we must take must begin inside the home and inside our hearts. but the fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing. the fact that we can't prevent every act of violence doesn't mean we can't steadily reduce the violence, and prevent the very worst violence. that's why i've asked the vice president to lead an effort that includes members of my cabinet and outside organizations to come up with a set of concrete proposals no later than january -- proposals that i then intend to push without delay. this is not some washington commission. this is not something where folks are going to be studying the issue for six months and publishing a report that gets read and then pushed aside.
1:24 am
this is a team that has a very specific task, to pull together real reforms right now. i asked joe to lead this effort in part because he wrote the 1994 crime bill that helped law enforcement bring down the rate of violent crime in this country. that plan -- that bill also included the assault weapons ban that was publicly supported at the time by former presidents including ronald reagan. the good news is there's already a growing consensus for us to build from. a majority of americans support banning the sale of military- style assault weapons. a majority of americans support banning the sale of high- capacity ammunition clips. a majority of americans support laws requiring background checks before all gun purchases, so that criminals can't take advantage of legal loopholes to
1:25 am
buy a gun from somebody who won't take the responsibility of doing a background check at all. i urge the new congress to hold votes on these measures next year in a timely manner. and considering congress hasn't confirmed a director of the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms in six years -- the agency that works most closely with state and local law enforcement to keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals -- i'd suggest that they make this a priority early in the year. look, like the majority of americans, i believe that the second amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. this country has a strong tradition of gun ownership that's been handed down from generation to generation. obviously across the country there are regional differences. there are differences between how people feel in urban areas and rural areas. and the fact is the vast majority of gun owners in america are responsible -- they buy their guns legally and they use them safely, whether for
1:26 am
hunting or sport shooting, collection or protection. but you know what, i am also betting that the majority -- the vast majority -- of responsible, law-abiding gun owners would be some of the first to say that we should be able to keep an irresponsible, law-breaking few from buying a weapon of war. i'm willing to bet that they don't think that using a gun and using common sense are incompatible ideas -- that an unbalanced man shouldn't be able to get his hands on a military-style assault rifle so easily; that in this age of technology, we should be able to check someone's criminal records before he or she can check out at a gun show; that if we work harder to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, there would be fewer atrocities like the one in newtown -- or any of the lesser-known tragedies that visit small towns and big cities all across america every
1:27 am
day. since friday morning, a police officer was gunned down in memphis, leaving four children without their mother. two officers were killed outside a grocery store in topeka. a woman was shot and killed inside a las vegas casino. three people were shot inside an alabama hospital. a four-year-old was caught in a drive-by in missouri, and taken off life support just yesterday. each one of these americans was a victim of the everyday gun violence that takes the lives of more than 10,000 americans every year -- violence that we cannot accept as routine. so i will use all the powers of this office to help advance efforts aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. we won't prevent them all -- but that can't be an excuse not to try.
1:28 am
it won't be easy -- but that can't be an excuse not to try. and i'm not going to be able to do it by myself. ultimately if this effort is to succeed it's going to require the help of the american people -- it's going to require all of you. if we're going to change things, it's going to take a wave of americans -- mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, pastors, law enforcement, mental health professionals -- and, yes, gun owners -- standing up and saying "enough" on behalf of our kids. it will take commitment and compromise, and most of all, it will take courage. but if those of us who were sent here to serve the public trust can summon even one tiny iota of the courage those teachers, that principal in newtown summoned on friday -- if cooperation and common sense prevail -- then i'm convinced we
1:29 am
can make a sensible, intelligent way to make the united states of america a safer, stronger place for our children to learn and to grow. thank you. and now i'm going to let the vice president go and i'm going to take a few questions. and i will start with ben feller. >> thank you, mr. president. i'd like to ask you about the other serious issue consuming this town right now, the fiscal cliff. >> right. >> haven't you betrayed some of the voters who supported you in the election by changing your positions on who should get a tax increase and by including social security benefits now in this mix? and more broadly, there seems to be a deepening sense that negotiations aren't going very well right now. can you give us a candid update? are we likely to go over the cliff? >> well, first of all, there's no reason why we should. remember what i said during the
1:30 am
campaign. i thought that it was important for us to reduce our deficit in a balanced and responsible way. i said it was important for us to make sure that millionaires and billionaires paid their fair share. i said that we were going to have to make some tough cuts, some tough decisions on the spending side, but what i wouldn't do was hurt vulnerable families only to pay for a tax cut for somebody like me. and what i said was that the ultimate package would involve a balance of spending cuts and tax increases. that's exactly what i've put forward. what i've said is, is that in order to arrive at a compromise, i am prepared to do some very tough things -- some things that some democrats don't want to see and probably there are a few republicans who don't
1:31 am
want to see either. but the only way that we're going to be able to stabilize the economy, make sure we've got a platform for long-term economic growth, that we get our deficits under control and we make sure that middle-class families are protected is if we come up with something that members of both parties in congress can support. and that's the plan that i've put forward. i have gone at least halfway in meeting some of the republicans' concerns, recognizing that even though we campaigned on these issues, even though the majority of americans agree with me that we should be raising taxes on the wealthiest few as a means of reducing the deficit, i have also said that i'm willing to identify some spending cuts that make sense. and, frankly, up until about a couple of days ago, if you looked at it, the republicans in the house and speaker boehner i think were in a position to
1:32 am
say, we've gotten a fair deal. the fact that they haven't taken it yet is puzzling and i think a question that you're going to have to address to them. i remain optimistic, though, because if you look at what the speaker has proposed, he's conceded that income tax rates should go up -- except right now he only wants to have them go up for millionaires. if you're making $900,000, somehow he thinks that you can't afford to pay a little more in taxes. but the principle that rates are going to need to go up he's conceded. i've said i'm willing to make some cuts. what separates us is probably a few hundred billion dollars. the idea that we would put our economy at risk because you can't bridge that gap doesn't make a lot of sense. so i'm going to continue to talk to the speaker and the
1:33 am
other leaders up in congress. but, ultimately, they've got to do their job. right now their job is to make sure that middle-class taxes do not go up and that we have a balanced, responsible package of deficit reduction. it is there for all to see. it is a deal that can get done. but it is not going to be -- it cannot be done if every side wants 100 percent. and part of what voters were looking for is some compromise up here. that's what folks want. they understand that they're not going to get 100 percent of what they want. and for some reason, that message has not yet taken up on capitol hill. and when you think about what we've gone through over the last couple of months -- a devastating hurricane, and now one of the worst tragedies in
1:34 am
our memory -- the country deserves folks to be willing to compromise on behalf of the greater good, and not tangle themselves up in a whole bunch of ideological positions that don't make much sense. so i remain not only open to conversations, but i remain eager to get something done. i'd like to get it done before christmas. there's been a lot of posturing up on capitol hill, instead of just going ahead and getting stuff done. and we've been wasting a lot of time. it is the right thing to do. i'm prepared to get it done. but they're going to have to go ahead and make some adjustments. and i'll just give you one other example. the speaker now is proposing what he calls plan b. so he says, well, this would raise taxes only on folks making a million dollars or
1:35 am
more. what that means is an average of a $50,000 tax break for every millionaire out there, at the same time as we're not providing unemployment insurance for 2 million people who are still out there looking for work. it actually means a tax increase for millions of working families across the country at the same time as folks like me would be getting a tax break. that violates the core principles that were debated during the course of this election and that the american people determined was the wrong way to go. and so my hope is, is that the speaker and his caucus, in conjunction with the other legislative leaders up there, can find a way to make sure that middle-class families don't see their taxes go up on january 1st; that we make sure that those things that middle-class families count on like tax
1:36 am
credits for college, or making sure that they're getting some help when it comes to raising their kids through things like the child tax credit, that that gets done; and that we have a balanced package for deficit reduction, which is exactly what i've put forward. >> will you give more ground if you need to, or are you done? >> if you look at the package that i put forward, it is a balanced package by any definition. we have put forward real cuts in spending that are hard to do, in every category. and by any measure, by any traditional calculation, by the measures that republicans themselves have used in the past, this would be as large a piece of deficit reduction as we've seen in the last 20 years.
1:37 am
and if you combine that with the increased revenue from the wealthy paying a little bit more, then you actually have something that would stabilize our deficit and debt for a decade -- for 10 years. now, the notion that we would not do that, but instead the speaker would run a play that keeps tax cuts for folks making $500,000 or $700,000 or $800,000 or $900,000 a year, and gives more tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires, and raises taxes on middle-class families, and then has no cuts in it -- which is what he says he wants -- doesn't make much sense. i mean, let's just think about the logic for a second. they're thinking about voting
1:38 am
for raising taxes at least on folks over a million, which they say they don't want to do, but they're going to reject spending cuts that they say they do want to do. that defies logic. there's no explanation for that. i think that any objective person out there looking would say that we've put forward a very balanced plan and it's time for us to go ahead and get it done. that's what the country needs right now. because i think folks have been through some wrenching times, we're still recovering from a very tough recession, and what they're hoping for is a sense of stability, focus, compromise, common sense over the next couple of years. and i think we can provide it. but this is a good test for them. carol lee. >> thank you, mr. president. just to follow on ben's question, what is your next
1:39 am
move? are we in a position now where you're just waiting for the speaker to make a move? >> well, i'm going to reach out to all the leaders involved over the next couple of days and find out what is it that's holding this thing up. what is holding it up? if the argument from republicans is we haven't done enough spending cuts, that argument is not going to fly because we've got close to a trillion dollars of spending cuts. and when you add interest, then it's more than a trillion dollars in spending cuts. if the argument is that they can't do -- they can't increase tax rates on folks making $700,000 or $800,000 a year, that's not a persuasive argument to me and it's certainly not a persuasive argument to the american people. it may be that members of their caucus haven't looked at exactly what we've proposed.
1:40 am
it may be that if we provide more information or there's greater specificity or we work through some of their concerns, that we can get some movement then. but the fact of the matter is, is that what would violate my commitment to voters is if i ended up agreeing to a plan that put more of the burden on middle-class families and less of a burden on the wealthy in an effort to reduce our deficit. going not something i'm to do. what would violate my commitment to voters would be to put forward a plan that makes it harder for young people to go to college, that makes it harder for a family with a disabled kid to care for that kid. and there's a threshold that you reach where the balance tips, even in making compromises that are required to get something done in this town, where you are hurting people in
1:41 am
order to give another advantage to folks who don't need help. and we had an extensive debate about this for a year. and not only does the majority of the american people agree with me, about half of republican voters agree with me on this. so at some point, there's got to be i think a recognition on the part of my republican friends that -- take the deal. they will be able to claim that they have worked with me over the last two years to reduce the deficit more than any other deficit reduction package; that we will have stabilized it for 10 years. that is a significant achievement for them. they should be proud of it. but they keep on finding ways
1:42 am
to say no, as opposed to finding ways to say yes. and i don't know how much of that just has to do with -- it is very hard for them to say yes to me. but at some point, they've got to take me out of it and think about their voters, and think about what's best for the country. and if they do that -- if they're not worried about who's winning and who's losing, did they score a point on the president, did they extract that last little concession, did they force him to do something he really doesn't want to do just for the heck of it, and they focus on actually what's good for the country, i actually think we can get this done. >> you mentioned the $700,000 and $800,000.
1:43 am
are you willing to move on income level and are there specific things that you would do -- >> i'm not going to get into specific negotiations here. my point is simple, carol, that if you look at speaker boehner's proposal and you look at my proposal, they're actually pretty close. they keep on saying that somehow we haven't put forward real spending cuts. actually, there was i think a graph in the new york times today that showed -- they're the same categories, right? there's a little bit of tweaks here and there; there are a few differences, but we're right there. and on the revenue side, there's a difference in terms of them wanting to preserve tax breaks for folks between $250,000 and a million that we just can't afford. i mean, keep in mind i'm in that income category; i'd love to not pay as much in taxes. but i also think it's the right
1:44 am
thing to do for us to make sure that people who have less -- people who are working, people who are striving, people who are hoping for their kids -- that they have opportunity. that's what we campaigned about. that's what we talked about. and this is not a situation where i'm unwilling to compromise. this is not a situation where i'm trying to rub their face in anything. i think anybody who looks at this objectively would say that coming off my election, i have met them at least halfway in order to get something done for the country. and so i noticed that there were a couple of headlines out there saying, oh, we're now in the land of political posturing, and it's the usual he said-he said atmosphere. but look at the facts. look at where we started; look at where they started. my proposal is right there in the middle.
1:45 am
we should be able to get this done. let's get it done. we don't have a lot of time. carrie. where's -- there you are. >> thank you, mr. president. >> yes. >> what is your level of confidence that if you are able to reach a comprehensive deal with the speaker, that he will be able to bring his members onboard and get it passed? essentially, do you still trust speaker boehner in this process? >> there is no doubt that the speaker has challenges in his caucus, and i recognize that. i'm often reminded when i speak to the republican leadership that the majority of their caucus's membership come from districts that i lost. and so sometimes they may not see an incentive in cooperating with me, in part because they're more concerned about
1:46 am
challenges from a tea party candidate, or challenges from the right, and cooperating with me may make them vulnerable. i recognize that. but, goodness, if this past week has done anything, it should just give us some perspective. if there's one thing we should have after this week, it should be a sense of perspective about what's important. and i would like to think that members of that caucus would say to themselves: you know what, we disagree with the president on a whole bunch of things. we wish the other guy had won. we're going to fight him on a whole range of issues over the
1:47 am
next four years. we think his philosophy is all screwed up. but right now, what the country needs is for us to compromise, get a deficit reduction deal in place; make sure middle class taxes don't go up; make sure that we're laying the foundations for growth; give certainty to businesses large and small; not put ourselves through some sort of self- inflicted crisis every six months; allow ourselves time to focus on things like preventing the tragedy in newtown from happening again; focus on issues like energy and immigration reform and all the things that will really make a determination as to whether our country grows over the next four years, 10 years, 40 years. and if you just pull back from the immediate political battles, if you kind of peel off the partisan war paint, then we
1:48 am
should be able to get something done. and i think the speaker would like to get that done. i think an environment needs to be created within not just the house republican caucus, but also among senate republicans that say, the campaign is over and let's see if we can do what's right for the country -- at least for the next month. and then we can reengage in all the other battles that they'll want to fight. >> if you don't get it done, republicans have said they'll try to use the debt limit as a next pressure point. would you negotiate with them in that context? >> no. and i've been very clear about this. this is the united states of america, the greatest country on earth, the world's economic
1:49 am
superpower. and the idea that we lurch from crisis to crisis, and every six months, or every nine months, that we threaten not to pay our bills on stuff we've already bought, and default, and ruin the full faith and credit of the united states of america -- that's not how you run a great country. so i've put forward a very clear principle: i will not negotiate around the debt ceiling. we're not going to play the same game that we saw happen in 2011 -- which was hugely destructive; hurt our economy; provided more uncertainty to the business community than anything else that happened. and i'm not alone in this. if you go to wall street,
1:50 am
including talking to a whole bunch of folks who spent a lot of money trying to beat me, they would say it would be disastrous for us to use the debt ceiling as a cudgel to try to win political points on capitol hill. so we're not going to do that -- which is why i think that part of what i hope over the next couple of days we see is a recognition that there is a way to go ahead and get what it is that you've been fighting for. these guys have been fighting for spending cuts. they can get some very meaningful spending cuts. this would amount to $2 trillion -- $2 trillion -- in spending cuts over the last couple of years.
1:51 am
and in exchange, they're getting a little over a trillion dollars in revenue. and that meets the pledge that i made during the campaign, which was $2 to $2.50 of spending cuts for every revenue increase. and that's an approach that i think most americans think is appropriate. but i will not negotiate around the debt ceiling. we're not going to do that again. >> sir, may i ask a question about newtown, please? >> yes, i've got david jackson. >> thank you, mr. president. getting back to the gun issue, you alluded to the fact that washington commissions don't have the greatest reputation in the world. what makes you think this one is going to be different given the passage of time and the political power of gun rights groups like the national rifle association? >> well, this is not going to be a commission. joe is going to gather up some key cabinet members who have an interest in this issue. we're going to reach out to a
1:52 am
bunch of stakeholders. we're going to be reaching out to members of congress who have an interest in this issue. it's not as if we have to start from scratch. there are a whole bunch of proposals that have been thought about, debated, but hopefully also some new ideas in terms of how we deal with this issue. their task is going to be to sift through every good idea that's out there, and even take a look at some bad ideas before disposing of them, and come up with a concrete set of recommendations in about a month. and i would hope that our memories aren't so short that what we saw in newtown isn't lingering with us, that we don't remain passionate about it only a month later. and as soon as we get those recommendations, i will be
1:53 am
putting forward very specific proposals. i will be talking about them in my state of the union and we will be working with interested members of congress to try to get some of them done. and the idea that we would say this is terrible, this is a tragedy, never again, and we don't have the sustained attention span to be able to get this done over the next several months doesn't make sense. i have more confidence in the american people than that. i have more confidence in the parents, the mothers and fathers that i've been meeting over the last several days all across the country from all political persuasions, including a lot of gun owners, who say, you know what, this time we've got to do things differently.
1:54 am
>> what about the nra? >> well, the nra is an organization that has members who are mothers and fathers. and i would expect that they've been impacted by this as well. and hopefully they'll do some self-reflection. and here's what we know -- that any single gun law can't solve all these problems. we're going to have to look at mental health issues. we're going to have to look at schools. there are going to be a whole range of things that joe's group looks at. we know that issues of gun safety will be an element of it. and what we've seen over the last 20 years, 15 years, is the sense that anything related to guns is somehow an encroachment on the second amendment. what we're looking for here is a thoughtful approach that says we can preserve our second amendment, we can make sure that responsible gun owners are
1:55 am
able to carry out their activities, but that we're going to actually be serious about the safety side of this; that we're going to be serious about making sure that something like newtown or aurora doesn't happen again. and there is a big chunk of space between what the second amendment means and having no rules at all. and that space is what joe is going to be working on to try to identify where we can find some common ground. so i've got -- i'm going to take one last question. go ahead, jake. >> it seems to a lot of observers that you made the political calculation in 2008 in your first term and in 2012 not to talk about gun violence.
1:56 am
you had your position on renewing the ban on semiautomatic rifles that then- senator biden put into place, but you didn't do much about it. this is not the first issue -- the first incident of horrific gun violence of your four years. where have you been? >> well, here's where i've been, jake. i've been president of the united states dealing with the worst economic crisis since the great depression, an auto industry on the verge of collapse, two wars. i don't think i've been on vacation. and so i think all of us have to do some reflection on how we prioritize what we do here in washington. and as i said on sunday, this should be a wake-up call for all of us to say that if we are not getting right the need to
1:57 am
keep our children safe, then nothing else matters. and it's my commitment to make sure that we do everything we can to keep our children safe. a lot of things go in -- are involved in that, jake. so making sure they've got decent health care and making sure they've got a good education, making sure that their parents have jobs -- those are all relevant as well. those aren't just sort of side issues. but there's no doubt that this has to be a central issue. and that's exactly why i'm confident that joe is going to take this so seriously over the next couple months. all right. thank you, everybody. >> letter at the capitol, house speaker john boehner spoke briefly about fiscal negotiations with the white house.
1:58 am
>> good afternoon, everyone. republicans continue to work toward avoiding the fiscal cliff. the president's offer of $1.30 trillion of revenues, $850 billion of spending reductions, fails to meet the test that the president promised the american people, a balanced approach. i hope the president will get serious about providing an working with us on a balanced approach. tomorrow the house will pass legislation to make permanent tax relief for nearly every american, 99.81% of the american people. the president will have a decision to make. he can call on the senate democrats to pass that bill, or he can be responsible for the largest tax increase in american history. >> house minority leader nancy
1:59 am
pelosi spoke with reporters for about 15 minutes about republican plans to vote thursday on speaker boehner is proposal for tax cuts, referred to this plan be. success -- referred to as plan >> trying to prove, bribery -- by bringing two bills to the floor tomorrow, that the republicans are here to protect the wealthiest people in our country at the expense of the
2:00 am
middle class. if so, he will do that. is he here to prove that he does not care about going over the cliff? if so, he will do that tomorrow. unless he leaves from that debate and goes to negotiate with the president. is he here to prove he does not care about str, the rate that doctors are paid for medicare patients? if so, he will prove that tomorrow. it is really very interesting to see what his proposal does. it raises about up to $300 billion, nearly half a trillion dollars less than the present's proposal. what he suggested earlier, it
2:01 am
gives people making over $1 million at least a $50 -- $50,000 tax cut. those people still get a $50 thousand tax cut. another $120 billion in revenue. by protecting the wealthiest estates in the country. i think you have all of these numbers. what it comes down to is that democrats believe that our democracy depends on driving middle class. that our economic security for our country depends on us having a bold balance. it is sad about what is happening tomorrow unless there are other actions that accompany it. to take us over the cliff, it does not avoid sequestration, it
2:02 am
does not and the possibility our rating will be downgraded. it does not create jobs. it does not instill confidence and it does not provide us with the down payment we are told is necessary by the market to instill confidence. a down payment for us to go into the next year and address the tax code for fairness and a tax code that will energize our e economy, address our investment so we are investing in the future, making wise spending cuts, and the life of social security and medicare by addressing those issues again in a bipartisan way after the first of the year. i do not know what the speaker is trying to prove pyrrhic if he thinks he is trying to prove by passing a high and tax cut and
2:03 am
leaving town that that looks like some measure of legislative -- republicans leave town giving high and tax cuts without ever even addressing the other needs we have an decisions we need to make to avoid the cliff, to avoid downgrading, to avoid lowering confidence in our markets, to avoid the opportunity for growth our economy could have. i think what we saw here earlier was an act of desperation. any questions? i will go to directly. >> democrats vote for plan b? >> the plan b will not pass as a
2:04 am
result of democratic votes. >> you are briefed regularly by the president about how things are going. without speaking out of school, what is your impression of the current state of affairs and talks were planned a? >> i believe the president keeps opening doors for the speaker to go through. his latest proposal is just that, which says, we are open to prop -- to compromise. the action the speaker announced is to slam the door in the president's space. -- face. i hope the speaker is a responsible person and i trust
2:05 am
there is an end game. i know the president hopes that and is working towards that and put forth a proposal that was not widely acclaimed in the democratic caucus, but something necessary to put forward. i am still hopeful something can be achieved. i would hope it could happen immediately so it removes all doubt as people go home for the holidays. it is almost getting too late for that. people could do so, if an agreement was reached tonight, we could take it up over the weekend. we could put the matter to rest. >> were there any democrats interested in amending the bill is bigger put forth?
2:06 am
something the president campaigned on. as to modifying what the speaker has put forth, the bill was brought up. it looks like a ping-pong to me. they may have another term. the freedom act -- >> [indiscernible] >> [laughter] they are attaching it to that so they may not have the opportunity. here we are. we have a responsibility. they want to see us get a job done. we have to go division -- we
2:07 am
have to go the distance to do that to accommodate the concerns of others. i do not know how serious these outside groups are. you would have to go into the republican caucus to find out if that has an impact. everyone understands to $50,000 is what the president campaigned on. -- $250,000 is what the president campaigned on. that is the president's proposal. this is one that really helps the middle class so much because it has the middle income tax cuts, revenue coming in, protection for the american opportunity act, the credit for kids to go to school, the child tax, all of those kinds of
2:08 am
things to help the middle class. you can describe it any way you want. the facts are clear. the middle income tax cut on the floor tomorrow is one the democrats will support. if it fails, it will fail because we do not have a majority and the republicans have rejected no income tax cuts in order to give a tax cut to the wealthiest people in the country with the illusion that people hang over $1 million will not be getting an additional tax cut, when some of them will be getting $50,000 tax cuts. that is as much as many of the middle-class people make in this country. >> is it something you can support? >> whatever the final arrangement is, there will have to be a balance. we will see will it wait -- we
2:09 am
will see where that figures. speak out against. i am not thrilled with the president's proposal. it is what it is in order to save the day. that does not mean we all identify with every aspect they go forth -- aspect. they go forth with my but we did with my blessing. -- they go forth with my blessing. it is the savings the republicans are talking about, $300 billion, the cuts that have to be made on the other side are lower. that is how we see it. it is interesting to see that even with the concessions on cuts and what you just described, the president put on
2:10 am
the table what everybody has been expressing for quite a long time. once again, like 18 months ago, the speaker wanted -- the speaker walked away. it is an attempt to try to put it at the present's doorstep, which is completely ridiculous. >> if you -- you answered my question. >> we are finished. [laughter] >> how deep the sequester cuts would be, to leave the republicans. we have heard very little about what will happen with those cuts. >> you will be hearing a lot more pretty soon. letters will be going out from the different agencies of government about how to accommodate the cuts.
2:11 am
this year, $45 billion from the defense department. it will not be the quality of life for our troops. that is our first priority. it will affect private sector in our country. hhs, sgr. this will have an immediate impact in people's districts and personal lives. we hope to avoid it. what we hope to talk about in said is what could happen if we do come to agreement. that is to avoid the cliff, to avoid the sequestration, to avoid the downgrading of credit ratings, to avoid the deficit increase the republicans would have with their bill. there is so much to be said, i
2:12 am
remain optimistic the president will remove obstacles to that happening, as he has, and keep opening doors. let's open the -- let's hope the republicans will go through. make no mistake. the ideas that the republicans can say voting against no income tax cut and giving a tax cut to the richest people in the country, and we are the champion subhead code what they are doing -- champions. they put a half a trillion dollars on the credit card of our children. they talk about how they cannot put mountains of debt on our children. they are with plan b perio. plan b is a real burden to our children because it says we value tax cuts at the high end
2:13 am
more than we do increasing the deficit. plan b sends the bill to our kids and grandkids. we want to stay until the agreement is reached. in the meantime, i hope you have some measure of julie in the holiday season. holiday season. >> will you be having a christmas party perchance? [laughter] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> a group of conservatives also spoke to reporters.
2:14 am
this is 20 minutes. >> thank you for being here. i am the chief executive officer of imperative action for america. we organized this today to represents 26 organizations that signed a letter this morning expressive -- expressing outrage. to decouple certain portions of the bush tax cuts, while allowing the rest of them to expire. we think it is unfortunate that the message is mixed by having the republican house endorse tax increases. the american people did not re-
2:15 am
elect a conservative house of representatives to become tax collectors for barack obama's welfare state. we are happy you can be here. we are joined by 25 other groups. >> thank you. i will keep this short and speak -- short and sweet. we oppose plan b, because it is a tax increase. what members of congress are saying is, we have been reckless and irresponsible with the tax dollars, the solution is to give us more. even though the evidence over the last 12 years says we have no croats -- no credibility, we still want more. we think that is a mistake. it is a tax increase we are opposed to. we hope the republican party will realize this before it is too late. and they will remain the party that is against tax increases. we will find out surely -- shortly tomorrow.
2:16 am
>> thank you. i am president of the paul revere project. i concur with my -colleagues. we sent a letter concerning the tax increase. we look at this as a foot in the door. consistently, whenever there is a tax increase, it does not seem to the region seem to get coupled with the spending cut. the mark -- it does not seem to get coupled with the spending cut. we have a spending problem, not a tax problem. all the government needs to do is to look at the states over the last couple of years. there have been 12 or 14 states. the governors came in with deficits and without raising taxes, but by cutting spending, they wound up with surpluses. that is what needs to happen here.
2:17 am
>> i am speaking of the -- from the four america organization. i will make a prediction. write it down. if the republicans support the tax increase, they will lose control of the house in the 2014 elections. they will lose control. not only that, but a whole lot of members who thought they were safe and who thought they could get away with this, will lose in their own districts. it does not take a rocket scientist to figure this out. this is precisely what happened to them six years ago and they have already forgotten the lesson. the republicans were tossed out of the majority when they broke their word on spending. now they are breaking the word again. it is not just spending. it is taxes on top of that.
2:18 am
fiscal conservatives will not stand for this. this is a terrible bill. this is a terrible box republicans have painted themselves into in this quarter. i have to get out of it. going for higher taxes and plot -- and trying to play is the worst possible solution. the negotiations that are going doon now is the stuff of keystoe cops. it is embarrassing how badly this is being negotiated. real fiscal conservatives would simply walk away from this mess. almost 30 organizations are signing on this letter. more are joining every minute. our message to the republican leadership is, enough is enough. it is time to honor the promises you made that every single republican ran on a commitment
2:19 am
to hold the line on spending -- to reduce spending and hold the line on taxes. if they support this, they will be doing just the opposite. they will be holding the line on high spending and raising taxes on top of it. it will be a clear violation of their promises to their constituents. we are asking them very strongly to rethink his position. thank you. >> [indiscernible] >> i will let others comment. i think we are holding out on a glimmer of hope they will come to their senses if they d. if they do not, there will be another conversation. >> [indiscernible] what do they not understand that you guys do? >> rover will be the first person to tell you the pledges
2:20 am
to the past -- to the taxpayers. this is a tax increase carry tax increases will be higher if the plans the republican -- the plan the republicans are voting on next year. but they are saying this is a violation of the commitment not to raise taxes. >> [indiscernible] do you think this is a political ploy? >> i think it is a negotiating tactic. i do not think anybody believes this is a final deal people will agree on. they will continue to negotiate a bad deal that will arguably get worse once it passes. the senate will fill it up with that stuff and bring it back and the republicans will feel more pressure to support it. >> none of us knows exactly what is being negotiated and what is
2:21 am
being agreed to. this is what we do know. everything that has been announced, whether it is an informal proposal, everything has been a step backwards for the republican party. everything has been a piecemeal surrender. they have not pushed the ball forward on anything. it is time republicans started pushing the ball further forward. they need to start doing that. >> republicans lost the presidential election. to what degree the speaker have to be cognizant of the direction and the decision they made on election day. >> very simply carried 2/ to this huffs. 2%. simple.ublican
2:22 am
2%. a commitment to limit government. they are breaking that commitment. it is as simple as that. >> will the republicans have more leverage. ? >> i think they have a ton of leverage. i do not think they are cognizant that they do. this is obama's legacy and he is worried about it. i think they could take this into the new year, deal with the debt limit, and extract a lot of slow growth entitlement reforms. i do not think they are willing to. >> [indiscernible] >> this is not a particular incidents where we can say yes or no to such ideas. whenever we get into a primary,
2:23 am
whether we defeat an incumbent for a challenger, we take the voting to factor. it is a large factor. we supported challengers opposed to the debt deal in 2011. this is the sort of vote we will look at closely when we look at our options. >> can you clarify what you are abrogating for? what is it you want? >> we are for a discussion of cutting spending. we are opposed to having the conversation only about raising taxes. there is no question obama has backed many republicans into a corner sometime -- the corner. the discussion was about raising taxes on millionaires. to many republicans have fallen into the trap. if you look at the polls, you will see across the country,
2:24 am
people are terrified of the national debt. you ask them about the debt in 10 or 15 years, they are more terrified about it. they do not want taxes race. that is where they are. >> are you saying it is better for them to go over the cliff? >> yes. it is better to go over the fiscal cliff that have the republican party, especially in the time of recession, raising taxes the wrong way. for the republican party to endorse that is going the wrong direction. we have a country that is going broke. washington does not mean more -- need more tax dollars. needs tough decisions made. politicians are unwilling to do it. >> if you look at any poll of the american people, the polls shows -- polls show
2:25 am
overwhelmingly they are worried about spending. spending has been the issue. what should the republican party do? they should demand a conversation on ending wasteful spending it is not taxes that got us into the mess. it is spending that got us into the mess. what the republican party needs to do is to circle around that. to answer the question, my answer is about putting primary challenges, yes. >> this town is captivated by short-term thinking. they think about the next election, what will happen, but will happen in the next month. fiscal conservatives inside and outside of congress are devoted to the long-term health of the country. that should dictate all other decisions, not what will happen next week. >> what do you predict happens to the economy? >> the heritage foundation has
2:26 am
done a study that looks at what will happen if you look at a plan similar to this. a $200 billion surge in terms of gdp to the economy. we think raising tax rates at any time on small businesses and people earning over $1 million will have economic consequences. it will have greater economic consequences. now is the time to have a serious conversation about spending. warren buffett should explain why he gets a social security check. why should a hard-working american pay for his drug benefits. that is a conversation we need to have. >> the congressman has just joined us. he is an intelligent member on this issue. he is welcome. >> thank you. what you have seen today is a few folks speaking up to represent millions of americans. millions who have helped elect
2:27 am
myself and many others to the freshman class of 2010. what you hear today are millions of americans troubled by proposals and policies that advocate from clear, a conservative, clear republican principles. many decisions are made here. you will report what happens in the next five minutes and the next five hours. let me tell you, for many americans, they are not concerned about what happens between now and christmas. they are not concerned about what happens on january 1. they should be. they sent many new congressman and congresswomen to the town to change it. they are afraid the principles by which we elected a new speaker, a new majority leader, and a new house, that we somehow lost our way.
2:28 am
but without a doubt, what they are seeing here, they fully expect, but they will continue to fight. they will be calling. i have been hearing the calls and concerns. i am happy to receive the comments. not only does it work economically, it does politically. it is the right thing to do. i want to thank them for all being here. the millions of americans they represent. they do represent millions of americans and the folks that work in the house and senate and they should listen very carefully. thank you for joining us. >> do you have the votes? >> i do not know. i do not do the counting. this is not about plan b, a, or
2:29 am
sea. it is about core conservative principles. there is a core principle at stake in the discussion. that is the one republicans believe taxes are too high already. that is what i want my colleagues to focus on. that is what they are frustrated about. many of the plants do not reflect core principles. we look forward to the house doing that. >> thank you for being here. >> 5 minutes, and then we will go. >> your objection to plan b? >> tax increases. it can be called not a tax increase for average ordinary americans that might face a debt tax on january 1.
2:30 am
plan b is not going anywhere. what concerns me is plan a, the negotiations in the white house with republican leaders who have already acquiesced to a $1 dollars trillion tax increase, and those are things the republican congress has not vote -- has not voted on specifically. >> you said any of your colleagues should be in your next election. >> i am still a freshman. even if i were a freshman or had been here for 20 years, i believe the decisions should be made by americans not in washington d.c.. if i went home and told them after taking a pledge not to raise taxes and voted on that, i
2:31 am
would deserve primary opposition. my wife might be the first one to run. >> i will admit that grover is a friend of mine. i also honestly believe i made the pledge to 7000 kansans and not to him. i told him i would do anything to make for washington would not take your money. we can argue about strategy. at the end of the day, our leadership has proposed a $1 trillion revenue increase and i think that is overwhelmingly opposed by most republicans.
2:32 am
>> [indiscernible] are you willing to let the rates go up? >> i cannot explain why we waited two weeks before the deadline to think of a plan. i had a bill introduced that made them permanent. we never ran the bill. on august 1, the house took a very clear position. it is still the position of the house. that is to extend the tax rates for all. we should keep that position and that is what we should negotiate from. this would be a reversal of that position. we will see what happens tomorrow. i have another meeting, so i appreciate your time. thank you. >> in a few moments, kent conrad
2:33 am
on these fiscal cliff. >> on "washington journal" tomorrow morning, we will focus on gun control issues. we will talk about the latest on the negotiations on a fiscal cliff. we will look -- we will look at what options the administration has to tighten gun control laws. our guest will be david, the justice department correspondent. live on c-span, every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> our first experience was to
2:34 am
come in a different way than every other family. it will probably never happen again in history. after being sworn in, we went and took a picture. nixon had left so quickly, so unexpectedly, they left their daughter and son-in-law to pack all the clothes and belongings. it took seven or eight days. we had to go back to our little house in virginia. the neighborhood was surrounded by secret service. i will never forget. that night, mom was cooking dinner. [laughter] she looks and says, something is wrong here. [laughter]
2:35 am
you just became president of the united states and i am still .ooking are >> four days of american history tv. right through christmas day on c-span 3. >> more now about the ongoing fiscal negotiations. kent conrad of north dakota speaking for more than a hour. seeaid he'd like to negotiators work on a bigger package dealing with taxes and spending. >> good morning. good to see you all. another day of fiscal cliff or fiscal curve, whatever one wants to term it. what we do know is the law is about to change, all the tax cuts from the bush era are about to expire.
2:36 am
across the board spending cuts, some $1.2 trillion over the next ten years. so these are significant changes in law about to occur absent action by the congress and by the president. first of all, thank you, bob for that kind introduction. thanks for being so persist nt. nowglad to have the chance to come. in reflecting for my fair well address in the senate, i thought back to what motivated me to run for the united states senate. about 48 years ago i came to washington as a 16-year-old, sat in the gallery and watched a debate occur on civil rights.
2:37 am
and i thought at the time some day i'd like to do that. i'd like to represent my state and i'd like to debate the great issues of the day. and after that trip i went home and i wrote on the back of an informal that i would run for the united states senate in 1986 or 1988 and i ran in 1986 and won what was considered to be the biggest political up senate north dakota history. so that is the power of a plan. and clearly our country now needs a plan. we need a fiscal plan. we need a plan that is going to bring us back from the brink because most economist tell us on our current course over the next several decades we will hit a debt that will be 230% of our gdp, clearly unsustainable. so we need a plan to get us back on track and revitalize
2:38 am
economic growth and secure economic future. and we can certainly do that. we've done much tougher things than that in the past. i know that it's fashionable now to bash government. but i think it's worth our while to reflect on what government has accomplished. i will never forget in the fall of 2008 being called to an emergency meeting in the capitol. there were the leaders of the house and senate, republicans and democrats, about 15 in number. the chairman of the federal reserve and the secretary of the treasury in the bush administration. and they were there to tell us they were taking over aig the next morning. and they told us that if they did not, they believed there would be a financial collapse within days. that gets your attention. and they went into some detail as to how the financial collapse would unwind if they did not take over a.i.g. the next morning they made
2:39 am
their announcement and you'll recall the take over cost taxpayers $180 billion. but just last week we got the news that taxpayers are going to make over $20 billion on the deal. taxpayers are actually going to profit by $20 billion. so that federal action coupled with the recovery act, i personally believe averted a second great depression. and that's not just my view. that is the view of two of the most distinguished economist in the country. their review concluded that if we had not had the federal action, we would have had the second great depression. there would have been an unemployment rate of 16% in
2:40 am
this country with 8 million fewer jobs. so to those who say governments can't act and act effectively, i believe the history of this period will demonstrate otherwise and quite clearly that the actions that were taken by the federal government at the end of the bush administration, at the beginning of the obama administration, that involved taking over a.i.g., the tarp, the recovery act, that those acts prevented the second great depression. let's remember where we were when president obama took office. the nation was facing the worst economic catastrophe since the great depression. in the fourth quarter of 2008,
2:41 am
the economy contracted at a rate of nearly 9%. positive economic growth returned in the third quarter of 2009 and we've had 13 consecutive quarters of growth. this is quite a remarkable turn around. here we were in the fourth quarter of 2008 the economy was shrinking at a rate of almost 9% and within nine months, we were back to growth. that is quite a remarkable turn around given the damage that was done by the downturn at the end of the bush administration. now while i believe it is absolutely the case that these actions averted a second great depression, i believe it is also true that we are now facing the consequences. and that is borrowing 31 cents of every dollar we spend. we've seen some improvement because we were borrowing as much as 40 cents of every dollar we spent. clearly that is unsustainable. it is going to require action.
2:42 am
and i think most people who have studied this understand we have both a revenue and a spending problem. this chart i think demonstrates it quite clearly. this looks at the relationship between spending that's the red line and revenue, that's the green line, going back to 1950. so this is looking at 60 years of our spending and revenue history. you can see that we are near a 60 year high. we've come somewhat off it, we're near a 60 year low in revenue. that says to me we've got to work both sides of the equation. those who say we've got a spending problem have it half right.
2:43 am
we also have a revenue problem and both sides have to be addressed. our gross federal debt surpassed 100% of our g.d.p. this year. it is projected to rise to 115% by 2022. the definitive work on death studied 200 years of financial history, looked at dozens of countries and concluded once you reach a gross debt of more than 90% of g.d.p., your future economic prospects are affected in a negative way. you have reduced economic growth once you get to a gross debt of more than 90% of your g.d.p. as you can see, we've passed that marker. we are over 100% of g.d.p., we are headed for 115% of g.d.p. if we fail to act. this is why many of us have called for action. it was six years ago this month
2:44 am
that senator greg and i first came up with a commission to address the debt. that eventually led to the president naming the simpson bowles commission. it's by part son report recommended 40 trillion in deficit reduction. we need to stabilize the debt and work it down is a package of about $4 trillion over ten years. here we are today, december 19, and these law changes which i referenced earlier, the end of the bush era tax cuts, the dreaded sequester, across the board cuts of $1.2 trillion in spending will begin to take effect the first of next year. the good news is the white
2:45 am
house and republicans have been trading proposals and at least yesterday appeared to be moving closer together. i would have much preferred that they would be talking about a bigger package than they've discussed but nonetheless to reach a package that would resolve some of these issues would be an important step forward and i think help promote certainty that would be important to our economy. on the revenue side of the equation, i just want to remind you what it's taken in the past to balance the budget.
2:46 am
we hear talk on average revenue is in the 18% of g.d.p. range n. getting back to average you will should be sufficient. the problem with that is we have never balanced the budget in the last 50 years based on 18% of g.d.p. in revenue. the five times we've balanced going back to 1969, you can see that revenue has been about 20% of g.d.p. you can see from this chart. 19.7% of g.d.p. in 1969. 1999 it was 19.8%. twow,000 it was 20.6% and 2001 19.5%. so my own belief is the chance of balancing the budget is
2:47 am
going to require a revenue share of g.d.p. in the 20% range. that's why i tried hard to convince my colleagues on simpson bowles that should be our goal. we adopted the goal of 21% in light of the baby boom generation which is going to make additional demand on the retirement programs. we know that is not a projection because the baby boom verse been born, they are going to retire and be eligible for these programs. so if we are going to keep faith, if we are going to keep the promise that has been made, my own view is 20% of g.d.p. is the bear minimum. we're going to need something a bit over that to get through this period. what seems to be lacking to me is any sense of perspective in
2:48 am
these discussions. so the president calls for $1.6 trillion of additional revenue over this next budget period. and people say oh my god, that's a huge tax increase. sit really? the latest number apparently they are talking about is in the $1.2 trillion range. the president started at 1.6. but how much are we going to raise over the next ten years? we're going to raise over $378 trillion with no change. so $1.2 trillion increase is.32% of what we're going to raise. we can't have a 3 or 4% increase in revenue? really? is that the situation where when we've got a revenue level right now that is near a 60 year low as a share of g.d.p. and we can't increase over the next ten years the revenue base of the country by 3 or 4% to help get this deficit under control? the same is true on the spending side. let's go to that chart because we see -- maybe before we do that, i should talk about the cap gains and how we raise this money.
2:49 am
because not only the amount of money is important but it is also important to talk about how we raise it. most of the focus has been on the earned income tax rate. when we hear about going from 35% to 39.6%. that is focused on the earned income tax rate. very little attention has been paid to unearned income. those are taxed at a rate of 15%. earned income is taxed at a rate of 35%. so there is a 20% differential. when i came to the senate t capital gains rate was 28%. i have not heard any convincing argument that we need a 20% differential on unearned income compared to earned income. let me give you an example that martin sullivan wrote about in a tax notes article.
2:50 am
he looked at a building and we could isolate on and look atta just that building. that one building on park avenue in new york, the average income for the residents was $1167,000 a year. the average income. the average tax rate was 14.7%. and ovebling that is because of the difference between unearned income, capital gains and dividends and earned income. now at the same time he looked at a new york city janitor who might be working in that building. their average income $33,000 for the same year but with a tax rate of 24.9%. so the janitor who might work in that building is paying a tax rate ten points higher than the people who live in the building who have an average income of over $1.1 million.
2:51 am
i don't know how anybody justifies that as a fair sharing of the burden in this country. and warren buffet has been very clear as one of the wealthiest people in the world, certainly one of the wealthiest people in this country that he find it's prosperous that he pace a tax rate a 23r5x of the tax rate paid by his executive assistant. so i would hope that in any final agreement that unearned income would be taxed on a basis more coatly equivalent to what earned income payers pay. now on the spending side of the equation we've had a lack of perspective. you've seen speakers calling for 600 billion in healthcare savings over the next ten years. the president said a lower number f. we take the president's reported to be his most recent number of 400 billion in savings in healthcare over the next ten years. what are we going to be spend on healthcare over the next ten
2:52 am
years? over $11 trillion. so at the president's number the spending would represent 3.6% of what we're projected to spend in healthcare over the next decade. we can't save 3.6%? really? you know we're in a situation where 5% of medicare beneficiaries use half of the money. 5% of the beneficiaries use half of the money. certainly we can save 3.6% by doing a better job of coordinating the care of people who are using most of the resources. we've done enough studies i think to conclude we could deliver better healthcare and save money by better coordinating the care of those who are using most of the money.
2:53 am
you look at the overall
2:54 am
circumstance in this country in terms of what we're spending on healthcare. for 2010, which is the most recent year we have comp sons. 2010 we were spending 17.6% of our gross domestic product on healthcare. the next highest was france and germany. united king come 9.6. and germany and france on many measures are getting better healthcare out comes than we are. and we know if you fast forward to 2012 we're not spending that, we're over 18%. 1 in every 6 dollars in this economy is going to healthcare. and however much one saves on healthcare, 40% of that flows through to the federal government because the federal government is paying 40% of healthcare in this country, actually something more than that.
2:55 am
there is lots of room to save money in this healthcare system and there by save money in medicare and medicaid. we're talking about a very small percentage about what we intend to spend over the next ten years in the savings that are being discussed. the same is true on discretionary savings. the president called for $200 billion. but if we put it in perspective we're going to spend in the domestic accounts in the next ten years $11.6 trillion. so a $200 billion savings is 1.7% of what we're forecast to spend. thanally can't save less 2%? of course we can. i think we've as a country, both sides talk about the big headline number and they don't put it in perspective. how much are we talking about in terms of revenue.
2:56 am
as a share of the revenue we're going to raise over the next ten years. how much are we talking about saving in these accounts in relationship to how much we're going to spend? i think this is lack. i think if it was added it would change people's views about how difficult or how not so difficult these changes might be. other mandatory spending. the president talks about savings there on a base of $5.1 trillion. that's a savings of 4% in other mandatory accounts. things like ago gri culture where we have passed in the senate a farm bill that saves $23 billion.
2:57 am
that is certainly something we could do. let's go to the next if we could. so already an act of savings from the budget criminal act and i hear all the time the senate hasn't passed a budget resolution for three years. instead of a budget resolution we passed a law called the budget control act. and that budget control act in many ways was much stronger than any resolution because as all of you know a resolution never goes to the president for his signature. a resolution is purely a congressional document. the budget control act was a law and it not only set the spending levels for two years, it set the spending levels for the next ten years.
2:58 am
it put in place ten years of caps saving $900 billion. it provided for the sequester, an additional across the board cut of 1.2 trillion if the special committee couldn't reform entitlements and the tax system. so it provided over $2 trillion in spending cuts. that's the biggest spending cut package in the history of the united states. it was all in the budget control act, something that was put in place instead of a budget resolution.
2:59 am
and the savings that were in the budget control act exclusive of, separate from the sequester is over $1 trillion. you can see student loans 24 billion. federal employees 16 billion. >> over a trillion dollars of savings in the budget control act. so if we rack up what is report reported to be the most recent white house offer. i can't say this was the white house offer, i'm taking this from press reports. i'm not in the room or privy to the back and forth day-to-day of these negotiations but from press reports, the president's most recent ask was for 1.2 trillion in revenue, additional savings in defense a hundred billion, that's a come bind total net savings of roughly 3.4 trillion dollars. that's close to what the economist have called for in a
3:00 am
3:01 am
3:02 am
3:03 am
3:04 am
3:05 am
3:06 am
3:07 am
3:08 am
3:09 am
3:10 am
3:11 am
3:12 am
3:13 am
3:14 am
3:15 am
3:16 am
3:17 am
3:18 am
3:19 am
3:20 am
3:21 am
3:22 am
3:23 am
3:24 am
3:25 am
3:26 am
3:27 am
3:28 am
3:29 am
3:30 am
3:31 am
3:32 am
3:33 am
3:34 am
3:35 am
3:36 am
3:37 am
3:38 am
3:39 am
3:40 am
3:41 am
3:42 am
3:43 am
3:44 am
3:45 am
3:46 am
3:47 am
3:48 am
3:49 am
3:50 am
3:51 am
3:52 am
3:53 am
3:54 am
3:55 am
3:56 am
3:57 am
3:58 am
3:59 am
4:00 am
4:01 am
4:02 am
4:03 am
4:04 am
4:05 am
4:06 am
4:07 am
4:08 am
4:09 am
4:10 am
4:11 am
4:12 am
4:13 am
4:14 am
4:15 am
4:16 am
4:17 am
4:18 am
4:19 am
4:20 am
4:21 am
4:22 am
4:23 am
4:24 am
4:25 am
4:26 am
4:27 am
4:28 am
4:29 am
4:30 am
4:31 am
4:32 am
4:33 am
4:34 am
4:35 am
4:36 am
4:37 am
4:38 am
. . @@@p@@@@@@@@@@@@@
4:39 am
4:40 am
4:41 am
4:42 am
4:43 am
4:44 am
4:45 am
4:46 am
4:47 am
4:48 am
4:49 am
4:50 am
4:51 am
4:52 am
4:53 am
4:54 am
4:55 am
4:56 am
4:57 am
4:58 am
4:59 am
5:00 am
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] we better keep our kids safe. if we avoid looking at that question, i think we're failing. yes, kitty? >> i'm just confused about what actions the national guard troops would take. >> well, it is up to the governor. if they want to have it
5:01 am
supplement their law enforcement, it is up to them. they would supply it just as they do as a counterdrug effort to the national guard. they would say here is the plan that we would like. we would like to have -- i'm just making up a number, two officers at every school, but all of our officers are tied up and we think if the national guard could help us relieve some of the officers of desk work, you could put them to work there maybe doing dispatch or something and we could put two officers at the school. that is one example. another example would be we think we need to have some protection at the perimeter. what would you build and how would you do the entrance and egress to our school? better doors, better windows, better security. it is really up to the governors. i don't have any idea of what they would need and so that's why this is so good that we give
5:02 am
them in this legislation 100% flexibility. a, if they think they want to have the help of the national guard, they can receive it, to help the officers out or build capital improvements. yeah? >> there is a lot of reporting on the power of the gun lobby and how in the last decade nothing has moved because of them. are you worried they are going stand in the way? >> the n.r. sambings going to make a speech tomorrow. i'm praying they will get the high capacity clips off the streets, maybe supporting school safety and increases mental health help for people who need it. i think all of those things are common sense. i don't know what they are going to say. i think tomorrow is a big day in
5:03 am
terms of seeing whether or not this changed them. i can tell you this. at home where i was last weekend, people are running up to me as i walk around my community. what are you going to do? and several of these people were proud gun owners who have carried weapons. someone an attorney. she carries weapon because she has all of these clients and she is worried and she says i carry a weapon. i don't like what i see. get these big guns, these assault weapons off the street. so here is the thing. i've had 11 straight victories. senator feinstein has many. the n.r.a. has always gone against us big time, every time. big time, every time. we managed to win very comfortably in most of our
5:04 am
races. i think that they are overrated. i think their biggest nightmare is that the people wake up, as they seem to have and now understand that no one that i know of in the united states senate believes that people shouldn't have the right to a firearm to defend themselveses and their families. no one. we don't believe that sportsmen shouldn't have the right to go hunting. no one. the n.r.a. has fooled people into thinking that the people here who don't support, you know, the freedom to have, if i could say an ak-47. they are trying to paint people like me or senator feinstein or others as wanting to take away everybody's rightful ability to carry a weapon or to keep a weapon safely in their home.
5:05 am
i think their biggest night summary the truth coming out. i think this -- nightmare is the truth coming out. i think this is bringing the truth to light. i don't personally worry about them. and i hope -- i think you know, in this job and i think it could be said for your job. when you have a story that you think is critical, but it is controversial and some people may not love it and you know, can i do this? will i ruffle so many feathers that i will put my job in jeopardy? maybe i was once a reporter. i'm going to report on something that was not popular. we all have those moments when we have to decide what is the most important thing? our skills or -- our skins or the innocents. i just pray this happens for the country. i can tell you as sure as i'm
5:06 am
standing here that i will be back here if we don't do something to protect our schools and get these weapons of war off the streets. yes, sir? technical question. >> right now they can do it. but they bear the brunt of the cost. under our bill, this is a special program that was set up for drugs interdiction because powers believe this is bigger than a state issue. it is a national issue. my point is i believe protecting our children is a national issue. they are a national treasure and president eisenhower. that's why i read what he said about the importance of children and their education to national security. i'm adding the use and under
5:07 am
this law, the governor consist apply and when approved, they can get 100% of their plan paid for and that's why it is so critical. but you're absolutely right. they could do it on their own but they would have to pay for it. >> do you a cost estimate? >> what we have done is we have limited it to 4,000 as our pilot as is in there as well. of course we don't know what -- whether or not people will take advantage of it. but we can go back and tell you the cost for the drug interdiction. we'll give you that. it would be the same cost. national guard troops. as a model. which is based on the model that is already in the law. yeah. >> some state officials are
5:08 am
calling to have some teachers armed. >> clearly i believe in protecting the schools with professional law enforcement personnel. i'm glad you raised that point. it is unacceptable. our teachers now have to become policeman? and they have to be in a situation where they are going to make judgments? they are going to be in a situation where a problem student could grab a -- please, this is not going to make our schools safer. the stats show that. if you look at accidental gun deaths and so on. so this proposal is an answer to that proposal. let us get sufficient law enforcement to the schools. we should do that. i'm on the foreign relations committee. i went to a briefing today which is unclassified. the bottom line is security at
5:09 am
these facilities. security is a very important deterrent. again to, me, it is so clear. look at what we do here. and yet, you know, we're going to say let a teacher carry a weapon to school? aren't our kids worth more than having a teacher be responsible for protecting a school? let's do it right. this is america. we can do this. we have a big defense budget than the next six countries combined. we can do this. >> last question. [inaudible] >> >> second thoughts about -- >> i'm talking about protecting our schools. that's my legs. i strongly support senator
5:10 am
feinstein's legislation. i strongly support senator lautenberg's. i have my own. if you're asking me about my colleagues, who in the past have not supported this, i think you may see a sea change. senator mansion, when he was running, took his weapon and shot a bullet hole through i think it was my greenhouse gas emissions bill to make a point. senator mansion has spoken out and said these are our children. so i think when senator mansion speaks out and i don't know they will line up and i don't know where the n.r.a. will wind up. i cannot speak for them. what i want to do today is hopefully speak for everybody.
5:11 am
you know, there is no reason to be polarized over whether our school should be protected. there is no reason for that to become an issue. our children need to be protected at school. so while we're debating, the gun issue, and it is going to be tough. senator feinstein said yesterday, i don't know? we are going to make it and of course she didn't know the last time and she did. we were waiting for her. keeping the roll call open. there was no filibuster on that amendment and we got it done. i don't know where it is going. so i'm going to follow through with this in the meantime strategy. in the meantime, let's make sure our kids are protected at schools. let's do it by utilizing while they are on the books. one law is the program to make the kinds of capital improvements many schools want
5:12 am
to do but can't afford do. expand the national guard program allowing them to be reimbursed should they choose to put a plan forward to the second step. i want to thank you all for being here. it is a very emotional time for a lot of us. a lot of you. e and we lost danny inway. a lot of you knew him. let us channel it for the good of our children. thank you very much. >> minority leader nancy pelosi led a group of house democrats at a news conference yesterday promoting bills that would among other things ban assault weapons and high capacity clips. this is almost an hour.
5:13 am
>> high capacity additions that make any gun an assault weapon. our colleagues will speak to that. ron barber, who brings to this debate his own personal experience. we will be observing the two-year anniversary of -- and you'll hear it from him. the tragedy in newtown struck the harts of every american. we can get the job done. calibrate the legislation in a way that really is effective. we mourn the loss of precious children, reading about their love of sports, love of animals, love of music and mourn the loss of their teacher, the counselor, the principal of the school. we owe them again to do everything in our power to take sensible action to prevent gun
5:14 am
violence to ensure the safety of our schools and neighborhoods and to build a future of safety for all americans. with that, now, i am very pleased to yield to carolyn mccarthy. again, early an inspiration to the nation on this subject. >> thank you, leader pelosi for allowing us to come together again after too many types. i can't name everybody. i'll probably miss somebody. we have been here before and we have been here before. but this time, this time, the time is different. i want to thank all of you for coming out and i want to thank you for the coverage that you have been given for the rest of the country to be able to read the stories that have been going on in newtown, connecticut.
5:15 am
too often we see these mass killings and we mourn for those that have died in the past and yet, all our lives go on. but this time, it is different. and we all know it. everybody is asking. is this time different? it is. that is mainly because of the victims. 26 killed, mostly young elementary schoolchildren. 6 and 7-year-olds. and as we speak here, funerals being conducted. there were six adults who are also the heroes. those that were trying to save the children. and they died. by doing their job. it is the holidays. i know how it feels.
5:16 am
mourning after a mass shooting this time of the year. i lost my husband right before christmas and my son was fighting for his job in i.c.u. on christmas day. this christmas there will be unopened presents in newtown and all the holidays in the future will be a reminder for all of these families. as a parent, it breaks your heart. it makes you fear for your child's safety. the shoot information connecticut have gripped this nation. this is a nation of parents. so i'm here today to call on my republican friends, and they are my friends. an awful lot of them are my friends. but i want to call us all together as americans to join us in supporting our efforts to reduce gun violence in america. i said earlier, and i'll say it again and again. this time is different.
5:17 am
you know the time is different because there is so much anger. when you talk to people, there is anger behind their voices. why are we allowing this to continue to happen? there is always sadness after a mass shooting. there is public mourning. but the anger for the american people, they are fed up with the gun violence that we're seeing in our country. anger from people who are fed up with the gun lobby, the tactics they use down here in washington, and the anger from the people, to be very honest with you, fed up with the lack of courage. the lack of courage here in washington to take a stand to, do something. we can protect the second amendment rights. but we can also protect our
5:18 am
communities. you know, when the n.r.a. responds to these kind of mass killings, they really hide. you don't hear from them. and i know you'll be hearing from them soon enough. but even this time, they shut down their facebook because they didn't want anyone to read what was on there. this time is different because now we have a president that is standing behind us. we saw his tears when he spoke on the day of the shooting. he spoke as a parent, and i have no doubt of his sin air isity. he made a -- sinserity. i'll be honest with you. i was surprised by what i heard because it is more than he has ever said before.
5:19 am
yet, even at a very sensitive time, a moment, you can still hear those strong words that something needs to be done. yesterday in the white house, the press secretary got very specific saying that the president is open to supporting a new assault weapons ban which i'm introducing with mr. pearl nutter. another bill which i introduced with senator schumer and the ban on high capacity assault weapons which i sponsored with senator lautenberg. this is not something new. this is not something new. we know that with the extension of those large magazines, dewid -- we did not see the kind of killings we have seen in recent years. so for many people in this
5:20 am
country who are trying to reduce gun violence, this moment is different. when i work -- work with us and i'm asking my republican friends to work with us. it shouldn't be a democrat or a republican issue. it is all of us as americans who are mourning the death in newtown and we don't want to see any more of these shootings again. work with us to save lives. because we can do this. work with us to make sure our children get to grow up and live to their fullest potential. work with us to reduce these tragedies in all of our communities across the country. work with us so we don't have to cover the funerals. that's not who we are as americans. i know there are difference differences but can't we come together this one time to save lives? i want to send a message to my
5:21 am
republican friends and even lot of my democrat friends who have been shy about joining this movement. i want to tell them it is time because it is different and it is ok to work to reduce gun violence. the american people will stand behind them, but the gun lobby, and i want to make this point. the gun lobby doesn't work for us. they work for the gun manufacturerses. everybody knows that but they are a i frayed to talk about it. they do not work for the american people. the american people are starting to see that. most americans, including gun owners and n.r.a. members believe in keeping guns out of the hands of the most dangerous people. over 75.of them do. and -- 75% of them do. that's just one more thing that we can do. many americans want to see the high capacity assault weapons be banned. the assault weapons off our streets. they don't want to see weapons
5:22 am
of the war on our streets and communities. no single piece of legislation is going to solve everything. we need to look at things holistically. i spent my life as a nurse before i came here. you values to look at things holistically. so join us because this time it is different. i want to say that most of you know that i have been fighting this issue for over 18 years. each time it gets harder and harder for many of my colleagues because we go home and we face these constituents. we go to their funerals. and then a couple of months, no one is talking to them. i continue talking to them. especially around the holidays. because they don't go away. we go on with our lives and we do go on with our lives, but the
5:23 am
pain is always there. this is only a small portion of our friends that will be fighting to save lives here in america. each and every one of them will do their jobs. we will follow the president's commission on education, mental health and all the other things that need to be done to keep us safe. it is like a puzzle. you got to put everything together to have it work. thank you, nancy. thank you. appreciate it. >> thank you very much. i'm congresswoman diana degette from colorado. aurora is down the street from my house. even today, the horror of newtown remains unspeakable.
5:24 am
as congresswoman mccarthy said, we have been here before over and over again calling for action after these terrible mass kearse. as she also said this time is different. this time we had 20 little beautiful angels and their teachers taken from us. and finally our nation seems to realize collectively that it is the time to have a deep national conversation. now is the time for a comprehensive solution, one that talks about our violent culture, our mental health system and that talks about really doing something about gun violence. when we in january, we're all planning to work hard together on a solution. on all of those solutions. but right now, we can do something this week before congress leaves. we can pass legislation that will be a first and a reasonable step to help protect our
5:25 am
children and to help show that congress has the will to begin stopping these mass kearse. this week, -- massacres. this week we can bring to the floor a bill that congresswoman mccarthy and i introduced co-sponsored by many who are here today and many who are not here today that would ban assault ammunition clips that were used last friday, that were used by the shooter in aurora this summer and that have been used in far too many massacres in this nation. my view is this. we can probably never stop a disturbed individual completely from taking a gun and going into a school or a shopping mall or a store parking lot and trying to shoot people. but we can give those victims a fighting chance. we can give victims a fighting chance when that assaulter stops
5:26 am
to reload, to take them down like they did when our friend and former colleague gabby giffords was shot. now just to show you how this dialogue really has changed, we started a group that was started monday when we got back here trying to get more co-sponsors for the bill. in just over 24 hours, we picked up 21 co-sponsors and we believe that we will have even more by the end of today. sadly, none of those co-sponsors are republicans. and we have approached many of our republican friends and colleagues. some of them say they are thinking about it, and we hope they think hard about it, and we hope speaker boehner will bring this bill to the floor by this friday. it would send a message to the moms, to the dads, to the people of this country that we're serious. and there is one more thing that
5:27 am
needs to happen now, as we prepare for the holiday season. every single american who cares about this issue needs to pick up the phone, needs to call their member of congress and needs to ask them where do you stand? we need to see what you're going to do and who you stand with to stop this terrible gun violence that is killing our children in america. thank you. now i would like to call on congressman mike thompson. >> thank you, diana. thank you all for your commitment to help prevent and end gun violence. this is an incredibly important issue, and as others before me have said, it is time. it is time. and i want to just share with you an email that i got from a republican constituent, gun
5:28 am
owner of mine. mommy, daddy, somebody please help me. we know that it is time for something to be done. we know that somebody is us. as parents and family members who are also responsible gun owners and hunters, our voices will have effect when we say it's time. it's time. we need to do everything we possibly can to minimize gun violence. there are some issues, proposals that have been mentioned today that certainly make sense. assault magazines. i've been a hunter all my life. there is no reason to have a magazine that holds 30 shells. and we're already restricted by laws as hunters. we can only have if we're out in the field hunting or water fowl hunting, we can only have three shells in our guns.
5:29 am
why do you need 30 shells in a magazine? an assault magazine. that's all it can be. call it what it is. an assault magazine and we don't have any reason to assault anyone in our communities and in our neighborhoods. we need to come together in these things. i'm honored that leader pelosi has asked me to chair this effort because we need to bring everybody to the table. the everybody has something to offer. we need to hear from everyone and we need to move forward. we need to move forward with a comprehensive package that addresses the gun violence. puts in place appropriate restrictions on inappropriate types of firearms and accessories. certainly we need to protect the second amendment and the right for law-abiding mentally stable individual to own and use legitimate firearms for legitimate purposes, but there is a lot of work that needs to be done that will save a lot of lives, so it is time.
5:30 am
>> good morning, i'm congressman jim himes of connecticut. we're a small state that lately has become flarge the public imagination for all the wrong reasons. the town of newtown starts at the northern border of my district. it would be better if my friend and colleague, chris murphy, whose district newtown were here today. he is attending funerals. today in newtown, we will bury daniel barden, 7 years old. chase kowalski, 7 years old, caroline proviti, 6 years old, victoria soto, a teacher who died saving a child, 27 years old. and charlotte bacon, 6 years old. we came together on sunday, john
5:31 am
and joe and rosa, myself, and chris, with the senators to be at that vigil where so many of the families were in the room for the first time collectively expressing their unmanageable emotion. permeating the air with the question that we can't answer, which is why. and we can't answer that question. but over time the urgency of that question has got to transform itself in the mind of every single american and certainly in the commitment of every single elected official to do all that we can to prevent what happened in newtown from ever happening again. that is something we cannot escape as a responsibility. we talked a lot about the things that we need to do. there is no justification for weapons that were made for the explicit purpose of killing lots of people quickly to be in the hands of civilians. there is no logic for not having comprehensive and intelligent background checks.
5:32 am
if six months from now we gather and we have done nothing, it won't be because the arguments against doing something have been good. there are no arguments against doing something. part of our point of being here today is to ask not just our colleagues, but the american people to join us in this effort. there are no arguments against doing so. starting with the argument by governor rick perry of texas this argument that more guns will make us safer. the facts, the history, the data, show that that is not true. a gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used in a suicide or a murder than it is to be used in self-defense. a study by the rand corporation. a trained officers of the law in a situation of an exchange of gunfire found those officers hit their intended target less than 2-10 times. so the notion that more americans "packing heat willic
5:33 am
ma us safer" is not founded in reality or fact or history. it is founded in testosterone-laden individuals who have blood on their hands for articulating that idea. we will not fail because there are good arguments standing against us. we will fail because of inevitable drift of attention. there are some questions apart from why that need to be asked by all of us, by every american. we have a big group up here but we're a small fraction of the united states congress. why? every one of us up here is a democrat. why? we've got to ask the american people to start asking that question of their public officials and their elected officials. and if six months from now we gather and we have drifted, i wonder who daniel and chase and caroline and victoria and charlotte would think of us if
5:34 am
they were here. >> good morning, i'm congressman ron barber from southern arizona. currently completing the term that was served by congresswoman gabrielle gifford. i come to this issue from a number of perspectives. on january 8, 2011, i was standing bedecide congresswoman as the district director when a gunman charged forward and opened up. i saw him shoot the congresswoman. i decided that day, the judge died and my colleague died. in 45 seconds, 30 bullets were discharged from one clip. 45 seconds. 19 people were down.
5:35 am
six of them died. that was an extended clip. the gunman had another one in his pocket and two shorter ones in his pocket and had it not been for the quick action, the courageous action of people there, he would have loaded and 30 more bullets would have been discharged. i come to this issue as a parent and a grandparent. i was on my way to the rural part of my distribute on friday when i heard the -- district on friday when i heard the news about the shootings in connecticut. first i heard three had died. that was bad enough, and then i heard 20 children had died. i was devastated. i have two grandchildren the same age as the children who were shot and killed in newtown, connecticut. on sunday, when i opened the newspaper to read about the
5:36 am
shootings, i saw a photograph of one of the children who was killed. her name was emily. a little blonde-haired girl with a beautiful smile. she looked at me from the paper, i saw my granddaughter's elsea and tilly looking back at me. so i come to this issue as a grandparent whose children but for fate could have been in the same situation as the children in newtown. and come to this as a member of congress. you know the people back home in just about every district keep asking us why it is that we can't get anything done here. well, i'm a newcomer. i've only been here about five months, and i know what is going on in terms of the political gamesmanship. this is an issue on which
5:37 am
political games have to stop. we should have members of the republican caucus standing with us today and i hope in time we will. this has to be a bipartisan issue in the end. and so, as i have looked at what happened over the last two years, over 20 mass shootings and virnlly every one of them has two things in common. the killer, the shooter used high capacity magazines and/or assault weapons to kill he is victims. and the second is almost every one of those individuals was either later or previously diagnosed with a serious mental illness that had been untreated. now i will quickly note that 95% of people with mental illness never commit a violent act. in fact, they are more likely to be victims themselves. but for that small number who might be prone to violence, we have to do something to increase
5:38 am
awareness and treatment. i've been working on that since the shooting in tucson. i think i know a little bit about what it is going to take to get our public aware and to get treatment to people. we have to go down that path as well. now i come to the issue of the weapons that are used. we have to -- we must take action. to make assault and extended clips, assault magazines, if you will, we have to take them away from anyone who would commit this kind of a crime. we cannot go on likely believing that we can solve this problem in other ways. we have to look at the weaponry used and we have to look at the people who use it and we have to do something about both. my constituents have been saying to me since friday, can you guys get anything done? let me close with this story about the man i talkeded to in
5:39 am
wilcox, arizona. a farming community in the most rural area of my district. we were in a meeting of another matter and he followed me out. he is an 80-year-old farmer of chilean cotton. he said ron, i've had a rifle and a gun since i was a boy. i'm a lifelong member of the n.r.a. i just came back from a hunting trip. but ron, he said, you go back to washington and you get your colleagues to do something about the assault weapons and the extended clips and that is what i'm here to do along with my colleagues and we look forward to reaching a cross the aisle and having a similar dwarfing of republican members of -- gathering of republican members of congress to take care of this problem once and for all.
5:40 am
>> i want to thank you for your outstanding leadership on this matter. i'm a discharged veteran who earned an expert marksmanship medal while i was in the service. i'm also the parent of a son murdered on the south side of the city of chicago. and i am a pastor of my church. i am here to support hr 308. the large capacity ammunition device act which i have been a co-sponsor of since march of last year.
5:41 am
hearing reports that there are 264,000, -- rifles manufactured each year in the u.s. and of those a rks 443 are exported overseas and 248,000 are used right here in the u.s. a bitter irony that we are confronted with at sandy hook is that the firearm industry's association their headquarters are located just across the highway from the sandy hook elementary school and while
5:42 am
focusing on large capacity weapons is important, i also have a bill, hr 66 a. legislation aimed at establishing a nationwide system for prohibiting unlicensed gun ownership and granting the u.s. attorney general broader authority on the program. as sad as the sandy hook incident is for all of us, we must be cognizant of the fact that gun violence has been terrorizing neighborhoods in chicago, detroit, houston, washington washington, d.c. for over decades now. one of my local news -- the
5:43 am
chicago tribune reports that at the end of march, murders in my city had spiked almost 60%. and as of june, homicide in chicago were up almost 20% over last year. 488 murders to date. ranging from 18 months to 19 years. these are americans also shot down like dogs in the street. as i recall being in the hospital room when my son was
5:44 am
pronounced dead, there was a primal scream that came from his sister, his mother. it wasn't a scream of a black woman. it wasn't a scream of a white mother. it wasn't a scream of a latina mother mother or a scream of an asian mother. it was a scream, a primal scream of a mother. a scream that is rarely duplicated anywhere. it is a horrible scream and i can't get that scream out of my consciousens. so i applaud speaker pelosi, leader pelosi, soon to be speaker pelosi and i applaud the democrats who are standing here. we must stop future sandy hooks right now.
5:45 am
we cannot allow the schools of america to become killing fields. we must act now. i applaud all of those who are involved. >> do you want to speak very briefly? >> we call our caucus america's ca because it is diversified and it's unified. we make our appeal today to all americans. and command our leader, caroline, diana, the eloquence of the people who have spoken,
5:46 am
my colleague from connecticut said it extraordinaryly well. politics be damned here. there is a responsibility that we have as legislatures that are unique. what took place in sandy hook and newtown, a quint sensual new england community goes beyond horror. the weapon of choice that was used, an assault called a bush master, more than 3 million americans have them. 3 million americans have them. we make appeal to americans, to mothers, to fathers.
5:47 am
we make an appeal to members of the press, who are the ones that can best articulate and ask the questions why? because we know this. as sure as we're all standing here, and have acknowledged that we stood here too many times, lowered the flags, had the moments of silence on the floor, came down to do a special order, only to see this fade into the background. think these children. whether you're a parent or a grandparent. to do nothing -- to do nothing is to be complicit. to be complicit. we have a special responsibility
5:48 am
to act and act now. but every american, and especially our colleagues in the fourth estate also carry that special responsibility to demand of us to act. thank you. >> thank you. i thank all of my colleagues, especially my friend from new york, caroline mccarthy, who has poured her heart and soul working every day on this issue and to our leader nancy pelosi and all of my colleagues. president obama and the american people are demanding change and we can bring that change by passing this friday a ban on the massacre assault magazines. we can pass it. believe me, if guns made anyone safer, we would be the safest nation on earth. we have more guns per capita
5:49 am
than any country on earth. and after the unfathomable tragedy, our country is united and determined in a demand for change. without change in our gun policy, we cannot expect the outcome to be any different from what we are already experiencing and we have already had too many mass murders and the cost is unbearable. these were elementary schoolchildren. and their teachers. but there have been movie goers. americans going to town hall meetings. there are some who say any gun restriction is an imposition on their liberty. but they must understand that the level of gun violence in america today is an imposition on the liberty of all americans. millions of people. today we call on speaker boehner to work together with us to make
5:50 am
america safer by passing a common sense ban on massive massacre sized magazines. let's get the weapons off the streets of america. they are not necessary for defense or hunting or sports shooting but they are absolutely deadly when used in a rampage like we saw in connecticut. the bill we propose would limit the size of magazines to 10 rounds. this will not stop all the killings but it can limit the damage by giving targeted people a chance to escape, a chance to survive. the american people are very clear in their message to congress today. ignore the will of the american people at your peril. they want change. they want it now. we can bring change by passing this bill on friday. >> i thank congresswoman degette
5:51 am
for bringing us altogether this morning and for her ongoing leadership on this issue. as you can see, we have a great deal of sad experience. mr. barber was wounded himself the day he saw his colleague killed and our colleague, congresswoman gifford so severely wounded. we have our colleagues from connecticut, our colleague congresswoman mccarthy. a champion on this shufment -- issue. our colleague from rhode island who can speak with some authority on this issue as well. and bobby rush, we'll never forget your own personal experience as well. what you see before you are sponsors, co-sponsors of the bill which are reaching nearly 150 co-sponsorships. so again, someone asked why are
5:52 am
republicans not here? they are not co-responses of the legislation. let me just say this about them and us. there is no division between us. that is to say if anyone of us could have reached out to that shooter and pulled away the round, the assault magazine that he had, high performance, whatever they called them, clips, we would have done so. we would -- all of us would have risked our lives, democrats and republicans alike, probably everyone if this room would have pulled that autoof their hand. mr. barber said because of some very brave people and i have met them in arizona, of taking that second clip away much more damage would have been done that day. much more unspeakable tragedy as it was. it might have been worse. why wouldn't we officially take that magazine out of the hands of a shooter? that's exactly what this
5:53 am
legislation would do. that's exactly what this legislation would do. we would risk our lives to pull it out of the hands of a shooter. let's take a political risk and take it tirblely out of the hands. as mr. barber has said and others. we understand the issues about mental health and violence in our society, but to make sure that the people with impaired judgment do not have access to these high capacity clips. we have to make sure that no one has access to these high capacity clips. there are some questions you may have on this subject. there are crime bill that -- back in august. can you talk about how that was a pivotal moment and how that started to change and why the
5:54 am
assault weapon ban was allowed to expire? >> i will but i want to invite any of my colleagues and congresswoman mccarthy wasn't here then but she knows about the impact of it. i thank you for asking that question because this week would have been the 90th birthday of jack brooks who was the chairman of the judiciary committee at that time. chair of the judiciary committee. i met with him in october. i was campaigning in beaumont, texas. we were reminiscing about this very action taken by congress. it was very hard, as you indicated, the bradies were here. jim brady. everybody was activated on the subject. chuck schumer was the lead author in the house that time. we didn't succeed in the first vote as you mentioned.
5:55 am
but then we did and many members of our caucus lost their election because of that. they live in areas which just -- they understood when they took that vote that it was over. including jack brooks. kings in his district, but -- king in his district, but as chairman of the committee, he saw the need to bring that bill to the floor and he lost his election, as strong as he was in this that district. after the election, members came and he said i would do it again. i would do it again. how unimportant is my political life compared to savoring the lives of -- and for 10 years, there was no -- there was a ban on assault weapons. and for 10 years, you didn't see this regular demonstration of violence in this high capacity
5:56 am
way. when we were no longer in a position to renew it, that became clear, we started to see the violence escalate in the past decade because you know it expired in 2004. i just would like to say if you would like to say something about how you saw things in the aftermath, because i think they are asking about then and now and the change. >> congress has not acted or been able to act post 1984. >> listen. i was not in congress but i was certainly lobbying my senators and certainly my -- members of the congress. i went everywhere. and i will say to you that when they went to go to repeal or try to repeal the assault weapons
5:57 am
ban, which oddly, they decided to do it on december 7, which was the day of the massacre on long island, you know, about two years later. that's when i came down here to fight again for them not to appeal it. it was then that my congressman voted to repeal it. i came down those capital steps. i don't remember who the reporter was because i wasn't familiar with the roars then. the reporter asked me, mrs. mccarthy, how mad are you? my irish temper -- believe me, i won't repeat what i said. >> repeat it. [laughter] >> but he said well, are you mad enough to run for congress? and you know, i just said i'm going to run for congress. now i never believed that. i never gave it another thought. i took the train home and all of a sudden, i got home and these people were knocking at my door.
5:58 am
by the way, an awful lot of women were elected in the year 1996, and every one of us that ran was running to reduce gun violence. so it was part of our campaigns. now washington wanted me to talk about medicare and everything else and i said no. i'm running on this one issue and i won overwhelmingly. and certainly now that i'm here in congress, i have to know a lot of other issues and i fight for those issues and i got i don't know how many bills i have gotten passed and signed by the president, but it goes to show -- i could tell you other stories, by the way, of members here now that have voted with me on a lot of my issues and they were n.r.a. members and they would go back to their districts saying wow, they are going to come after me. you know what? they won.
5:59 am
so our american people are actually smarter today, in my opinion, and we take votes and by the way, that's our job. tough votes. you don't think that when we did the health care bill that many of us that voted for it said this is a possibility that we could all lose? i said very early in my opening statement, members of congress need to have a stiffer spine. we all do. we got the fiscal cliff coming up. there are going to be things in that bill that i'm not going to like. there are going to be a lot of things that the republicans don't like. but but if we're supposed to do our job for the country, that means swe we have to take that vote, and i will take that vote because i do not want to see our country go down. i want to see us go forwardnd


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on